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tv   Nightline  ABC  July 16, 2016 12:37am-1:05am EDT

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can ♪ i'm shot, i'm shot, i'm shot! >> america under fire. >> it could have been anybody. >> a stunning portrait of violence. >> it's got to stop. >> tracking 11 days of bloodshed. revealing the searing truth about gun violence. >> pop, pop, pop, pop! >> 1,586 shot. 509 killed. in just 11 days. tonight, "nightline" on the front line of this american epidemic. hundreds of lives in america cut short with the pull of a trigger. families forever shattered. a nation in crisis. tonight, a special edition of "nightline," "shots fired."
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what's with them? oh, those two? they're always fighting for attention. there's more to a legendary city than its legends. plan your legendary stay at visitphilly.com this special edition of "nightline," "shots fired," continues. >> good even. thanks for joining us. tonight, "nightline" presents an astonishing snapshot of gun violence in america. for 11 straight days we tracked every shooting from big cities to suburban enclaves. and the numbers are nothing short of staggering. yet it's the stories behind those numbers that paint a time lapse portrait of a nation gone numb. here's abc's senior justice correspondent pierre thomas.
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[ shots fired ] >> reporter: if you listen carefully you might be able to hear it. gunfire. those are some of the actual shots fired on june 24th, 2016. just an ordinary day. >> we're in shock. >> it could have been anybody. >> senseless. >> it's got to stop. >> this morning a suspect is on the loose following a shooting in -- >> the first of 11 days "nightline" decided to chroni e chronicle. >> a man is shot and critically injured -- >> he was going to kill them all. >> reporter: a snapshot of a nation under fire. >> early details about what exactly unfolded. >> when you kill someone, your life is gone forever. >> reporter: it would be a week and a half like most others. gun violence never far from people's lives. but not at the top of the headlines. but watch this mantel the story of this routine week unfold across america. these are actual shootings during those 11 days. based on data from the gun violence archive. that is a total of 1,586 shot in
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one 11-day period. >> now we turn to a deadly shooting involving police in paterson -- >> this is the third shooting in the area in the past 24 hours -- >> reporter: we ask, has the country simply grown accustomed? or numb? or are we noting paying attention to it at all? look at what we find when we do. we start in the city that's become synonymous with gun violence. day one in chicago with the u.s. marshals on the front lines of this battle. >> he's a gangster disciple, he's wanted out of milwaukee on a drug case, federal warrant, also wanted by chicago narcotics for a gun case -- >> reporter: we're searching for potentially dangerous men known to carry guns and often willing to use them. by 8:00 a.m., there have already been two shootings today. >> people are afraid to live in their own neighborhoods. that's very sad, to me. >> reporter: but better neighborhoods are not immune to violence. 800 miles away in solidly middle
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class folsom, pennsylvania, rookie cop chris dorman checking out an alleged drug dealer is shot seven times. >> i'm shot, i'm shot, i'm shot! >> i heard the shots, pop pop pop pop pop pop pop! >> reporter: his bullet-proof vest would save his life. but this incident part of a rising number of police officers shot. 216 shot so far this year. 32 killed. 90 minutes after, in the heart of the rust belt, warren, ohio. a little girl calls 911. her mom is having a fight with her boyfriend over some groceries. >> oh, sorry, ma'am. we need the cops. my mother's boyfriend is trying to -- is trying to abuse her. >> how old are you, honey? >> 11. >> reporter: then he pulls out a gun. >> he just shot her! >> i want you to stay on the phone with me, do not hang up reserve pill sorry that i'm crying but -- >> your mom was just shot, you're going to be very upset.
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>> i've seen broad coming from her head. >> reporter: police arrive, the groceries are scattered on the ground. jessica crowder is dead. so is her boyfriend, r.j. culver, who police say turned the gun on himself. >> jesse was the kind of girl who would hold it in. if you love somebody -- i guess it's kind of hard to leave them. >> reporter: her sister heather says the couple had been on and off for $three years. r.j. had been arrested for domestic violence at least six times before. on average a woman will leave seven times before leaving her abuser for good. >> it would have been better if she could have got away from him. she felt that if she knew where he was, that her kids were safe. >> here's a sign that we had a memorial. not getting to see her, not getting to hug her, not getting to touch her. it's hard. and then you're going to see her two kids asking, when's mama coming home? >> reporter: during the 11 days we chronicled, 67 men, women and children were killed in domestic
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violence-related shootings. it's 5:00 p.m. in the wealthy enclave of fullshire, texas. mother of two christie sheets calls a family meeting in this upscale home. when her husband and two daughters arrive, she takes out a gun. >> please don't point that gun at us! >> reporter: police have been called to the house at least four times prior to prevent christie sheets from killing herself. >> i promise you whatever you want i will -- >> too late! >> reporter: this time she kills her daughters. >> we have two females lying in the road -- >> the mother shot and killed by a responding fullshire police officer. >> reporter: a staunch gun advocate, christie put this post up on facebook. for the devastated husband and father, a culprit, mental illness. >> christie was admitted to a private mental health facility for evaluation and treatment on three separate occasions related
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to attempted suicide. >> reporter: her daughter taylor seen here in this video was going to be married two days later. scenes like this playing out all over the nation. >> they're saying a couple of people shot, two different locations -- >> reporter: tonight we're on chicago's troubles south side riding with paul and lapointe. >> which shooting is first? >> reporter: he's what some call a night crawler, a video journalist who covers shooting after shooting. >> i'm going to bishop first, that's a hot block. >> reporter: in this neighborhood, seems like every block is hot. >> 76th and sangamin. definitely a homicide. there's a body. covered up. how many times have you shot a dead victim? >> at least 200 this year. >> those are human lives, gone.
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she thinks she knows who may have been shot. she's calling somebody and they're not answering their phone and she's worried it's someone she knows. >> the cries at every shooting. >> reporter: even before the cries subside and the body can be removed, another call comes in. >> a lot of people standing around there. oh, yeah, this is hot right here. somebody's dead on the street. doesn't look like there are a lot of witnesses. >> it's got to be two dozen people standing on the other side of the police tape over there. somebody saw something. >> meanwhile the musing plays on as if nothing happens. there's something just not right about the way these people die on the street like this. >> there's lead flying all over america, killing people. it's something that should be addressed as a major health
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issue. >> reporter: in fact, the american medical association has recognized this as a public health crisis and is seeking to overturn 20-year-old legislation preventing the cdc from researching gun violence. while chicago's reputation may precede itself, six months into 2016, already 101 more people have been killed this year than last year. >> the violence plaguing chicago did not stop over this mother's day weekend. at least 49 people were shot over the past three days. >> reporter: we finally stopped filming at 3:00 a.m. saturday morning. by the time america wakes up, more than 1,212 accidental shooting incidents so far this year has occurred. two brothers, 5 and 4 years old, are playing in this house in east orange, new jersey. they find a gun. the 5-year-old shoots the 4-year-old, christopher. tiana's racking grief is almost unbearable. the 22-year-old mother has been
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charged with endangering the welfare of a child and a weapons violation. she's pled not guilty. >> not only is it a tragedy of the one that died but the one who's still alive. >> reporter: within an hour there's more gun violence in chicago. four of this woman's family members have just been shot. she asks that we not show her face, fearing for her safety. >> just beating on the back door. when i open the door he just falls right in and i see all the blood. don't want to move him in case the bullet's inside. >> reporter: her brother, pregnant sister, and friend also stumble in, also having been shot. >> i'm leaving chicago the first chance i get. >> do you feel like you need to get out of here? >> it's not safe. >> reporter: a mass shooting is defined as four or more victims. so far there year there have been 185 across the u.s. in places like this, traumas are constantly being relived. each new shooting tearing open barely healed wounds. community activist andrew holmes is here at the scene to help
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victims. >> hopefully they'll survive these injuries. >> reporter: but for him, it's personal. his daughter, 32-year-old tamara sword, mother of five, was shot dead in indianapolis, caught in the crossfire. >> i worked very hard for many years as an activist to reduce gun violence. and it hits my home deeply. my own daughter. >> you got the word about her -- how do you even process it? >> it took me through pure hell. pure hell. i just wanted to give up. i didn't want to give a damn about anybody else anymore. when i'm thinking of family to identify their loved ones, it's like i'm unzipping that bag to look at her. >> reporter: guns may have saved the lives of a portland mom and her children. they arrived home to find an intruder. she shoots him dead. one of 1,202 shooting incidents in a home invasion so far this year. >> i called the cops and i'm
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like, yeah, i did it. >> reporter: bringing us back to chicago. experts in taking armed criminals on the streets. this day they hunt for a suspect in the murder that shook the city of broad shoulders to its core. >> it was a lady who walked out of starbucks -- >> a stray bullet piercing nelson's chest ran the intended target, an alleged gang member -- >> reporter: less than 100 yards from police headquarters. >> we've been working this case day and night since it happened. >> reporter: the suspect has been eluding cops for months. finally a lead. >> we believe she might be in there. >> reporter: when we come back. x to shut everybody else up about me quitting smoking. i was going to give it a try, but i didn't really think it was going to really happen. after one week of chantix, i knew i could quit. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix definitely helped reduce my urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation,
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this shooting was only one of 322 fatal so far this year in chicago. this one had special meaning to the cops. >> the may 20th shooting happened two blocks from police headquarters. a stray bullet piercing nelson's chest. >> here's somebody who just stopped in for a cup of coffee and was trying to make it back to her car. >> reporter: yvonne nelson killed by a stray bullet coming out of a starbucks. deputy chief cooleris was there that day. >> you've been looking for this guy since it happened hard. >> yes. everybody's got to know if they're going to partake in violence there's going to be a result. >> reporter: the police say they know who did it. now they think they know where he is. >> is everybody ready?
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>> got a shooter in custody. >> reporter: the suspect only 16 years old is being charged as a juvenile and has pled not guilty. it's a big win for chicago. but across the country, it feels like we're losing. just after midnight, 18-year-old jiani corsentino is sitting with friends in his car at a gas station when he's shot and killed, allegedly by these two men. the suspects one moment buying snacks. the next in an argument ending in homicide. >> he was my son. he was my sidekick. to lose him, it's just sad. >> reporter: at chicago pd's high-tech command center, they're fighting crime with 27,000 security cameras and sophisticated microphones deployed by shot spotter, a california company supplying audio sensors in 90 u.s. cities. >> chicago's a city of 2.6 million people. out of that 2.6 million, it's
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1,400 individuals that are really driving most of our gun violence in the city. >> reporter: chicago police are trying a new approach. by focusing their efforts on those 1,400 people and trying to offer them an alternative. >> will say, hey, you want to change your lifestyle? we're willing to help you. if they don't choose to change we'll come after them with everything. the sad tragedy of it is a lot of them become victims of gun violence. >> reporter: on day 10 in the coastal city of sair sole that, william took his kids to the gun range. 14-year-old steven in particular loved target practice. >> most outgoing, gregarious, friendly, loving person. >> reporter: dad accidentally fires his gun and the bullet ricochets, killing steven. >> there's no way to wipe the image away of your little brother bleeding out in your arms. >> reporter: the stories we can't depict are the suicides which are often underreported. according to mark bryant,
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executive director of the gun violence archive, 60 people per day kill themselves with guns, many of them in the military. >> roughly one-third of that number of suicides by gun are military personnel. that could be anything from today's gulf war vets to 85-year-old at the end of his life. >> reporter: on day 11, the last of the 129 officer-involved shootings took place in our time period. >> my brother struck the officer, we were told. he's not that type of person to strike an officer. >> reporter: in brooklyn, new york's most populated borough, delron was driving with his girlfriend and two kids. he was shot three times by off-duty officer wayne isaacson after a dispute in their cars. small was killed. the officer claimed self-defense, saying small had begun punching him in the face. days later this video emerges showing the officer shooting small as he approached the car. >> the video is clear as day
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that everything they told us from the very beginning is a lie. >> reporter: officer isaacs has been placed on modified duty. the case is now under investigation by the state attorney general's office. another life lost. part of the 1,077 wounded, 509 killed. it's the american epidemic that knows no boundaries. black and white, rich and poor, old and tragically young. >> when i started this, i could tell you every child's name and their age. i've callused myself to that. i cannot do that anymore. >> reporter: yet signs of a very american response. heros who paid a price but got right back on their feet. >> everybody supported me, i appreciate it. >> we love you! >> reporter: those who chose not to give up after their loss. >> i'm going to continue that on. >> reporter: the community coming together. >> here's a sign that we had a memorial. >> breaking news from ventura -- >> this is a relatively quiet
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neighborhood -- >> they say who would shoot an ice cream truck driver? >> reporter: tonight we still have to shine a mirror on america. to look with new eyes at the shootings we've become numb to. there's no doubt we're drowning in a sea of lead. the question tonight, are we okay with that? >> a tour de force report. joining us is our senior justice correspondent pierre thomas, pierre, thank you. we all see pieces of the puzzle but you've been connecting the dots. >> what struck me was the chronic, sustained nature of this violence. you can book it that tonight on a hot summer night in july, someone somewhere in this country will be shot, someone will be wounded, and lives will be forever changed. >> mass shootings tend to grab national headlines. you looked at individual shootings. >> not just shootings in places like chicago. across this country, over and over, much of it domestic violence, it's shocking. >> pierre thomas, thanks to you and your team for that report. thanks so much. >> pleasure. >> we'll be back.
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